• Chart of the day: Medicaid shock

    Adrianna McIntyre and Josh Fangmeier just published a data- and chart-rich post on income and age characteristics of the individual market. It adds considerable detail to the plight of the bros. Go read it!

    Here’s just one chart that shows that about 30% of those 19-35 years old and in the individual market today (i.e., enrolled in an individual market insurance product*) reside in states that will not be expanding Medicaid:


    Of course, those under 26 years old are eligible to enroll in their parents’ plans. Adrianna and Josh write,

    It’s difficult to predict how many of them will take advantage of the under-26 provision; we don’t have data about their parents’ income or insurance status. Given those caveats, I understand if you wanted to ignore that age group. Eliminating them from the analysis entirely, we would still see over one-third of the individual market, ages 26-35, qualify for Medicaid in 2014 (yep, we have a pie chart for that, too).

    Of that one-third, 44% reside in states not intending to expand Medicaid. This Medicaid expansion thing is a really big deal!

    Acknowledging that there will be some for whom the cost of insurance will rise — “rate shock” — there clearly will be others for whom the lack of availability of affordable insurance will be a surprise. Unfortunately, those who would be eligible for, but are denied access to, Medicaid coverage are also those most in need of assistance. I don’t deny the freedom for others to choose what is most shocking to them about the inequities of ObamaCare. But to me, and in a country of our wealth, it’s this.

    * See comments for a discussion of this.


    • What shocks me is 1.8 million people with incomes at 0-138% FPL are presently buying individual coverage at all. Quite a feat to balance that kind of budget, regardless of insurance cost (presumably bare bones).


      • I don’t think they’re buying individual coverage. They’re just “in the market” in the sense of not having employer-sponsored coverage. Double check with Adrianna on that (@OnceUponA).

      • “In the individual insurance market” does refer to people buying individual insurance—I have separate data on the uninsured (there are about 5.5M uninsured 19-25 year olds below 138% FPL).

        My best guess is that many of the 19-25 year olds observed in the red bar are receiving assistance from their parents to purchase individual insurance, or have some form of coverage through school.

        The under-26 provision was in effect in 2011, meaning many young adults would have had access to dependent coverage through a parents’ employer-sponsored insurance. However, some “grandfathered” plans don’t have to adhere to this requirement until 2014. It also only applies to plans that already offer dependent coverage, and doesn’t apply to Medicaid (which a parent might maintain if they have a younger child).

        Hope that helps!

    • On graduating from college and grad school, I was offered an individual plan which seemed decent to me (it’s a long time ago and I never got very sick) and was low cost. They didn’t last long, generally anywhere from 6 months to a year, the idea being covering you until you got a job.